A word from a CEO #99

by Basilis Kanonidis

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Getting in the mud

“Success will only come to those willing to get their hands dirty.”

Hi all –

In 2000, Howard Schultz stepped down after 13 years as the CEO of Starbucks. Eight years later, the company had opened too many stores too quickly, and its stock was plummeting. So, Howard Schultz returned to turn it around.

He said that in the first month he was back, he was flipping through a magazine and saw a poster. It was a picture of someone’s hand in the mud and it said “Success will only come to those willing to get their hands dirty.”

As Drift scales, we need to remember to get “in the mud.” We need to avoid managing by proxy.

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Data is great. We want lots of it. But it’s not a substitute for getting in the mud. For getting on a call, listening to call recordings, speaking with a customer, talking to a team member, getting the details. The worst sign to me is when someone presents data and when I ask them a question they say “I don’t know.” Because that means they failed to get in the mud.

We’ve always said that we admire people who are willing to come in and roll up their sleeves. Let’s keep that going.

How do you “get in the mud”?

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